There is an old saying, “A good carpenter never blames his tools”, but what would we say if we were given, say, an apple and told to investigate and determine its nature and structure using only the apple itself or another apple as our tool.
Of course we would object and say that using an apple as a tool to examine itself or another apple is not at all suitable or sufficient.
Taking this line of thinking one step further, suppose we were presented with a totally unknown and mysterious object and told to explore and determine its function, nature and structure using only the object itself (or another object identical to it) as our tool.
This time, our objections would be even stronger, for it would obviously be an utterly ridiculous, futile and paradoxical task, trying to scrutinize a completely mysterious object using as our only tool the very same object, whose nature and properties we are trying to determine.
Yet, we seem to have no such reservations or objections when we try to determine the nature and structure of consciousness, using only consciousness itself as our tool.
Contemplate for a moment, if you will, the amazing paradox of this situation: We are attempting to determine the structure and nature of a highly complex and mysterious object that is ‘consciousness’, using as our only tool that very same object whose structure and nature we do not know or fully understand. In effect, isn’t it the blind leading the blind… using the unknown to investigate the unknown?
How would we ever be able to determine whether the knowledge about consciousness that has been gained in this way is complete, accurate or veracious?
How could we ever know whether or not using consciousness as a tool to investigate itself has given us a limited, flawed or inaccurate view of the nature and structure of consciousness?
Furthermore, given that we are all forever trapped in our own consciousness, how could we ever determine whether consciousness is an adequate tool at all for investigating the structure and nature of consciousness?
Will we forever be hampered in our quest to understand the mystery that is consciousness?